by Ross Higgins
I started my project when my wife and I bought a new apartment. It is a bit on the small side and there would be no way to possibly have a dedicated Theatre room. Our only choice was to make the main living room into a dual purpose room. By day (and when not watching the Theatre) a very comfortable living room without obvious Theatre furnishings, and by night, an excellent theatre experience.
As we made the decision for the theatre when the apartment was still a concrete shell, we were able to incorporate most of the wiring into the cabinetry and walls. It was a definite requirement of mine to hide as much as possible of the usual clutter associated with dual purpose rooms. I think you can see from the final result that this was rather successful.
I wanted to have all the AV equipment incorporated into some bespoke cabinetry. This was built along the full length of one wall. In the centre (under the screen) are the Amp / DVD player / DVR. They can be completely concealed with cabinet doors that open in the normal way, and then slide back into the cabinet so that they are out of the way. During the day, the screen is also hidden from view by a pair of sliding screen doors. The doors have laminated glass which features a fine filigree pattern material sandwiched between the 2 pieces of glass. Looks very classy. These large sliding doors slide completely away behind the cabinetry when viewing.
Originally we were going to have either an electric or a pull down screen, but for my projector I wanted a high contrast screen. It was also very difficult to find alternatives to the standard plain white, presentation type screen. After a lot of searching I finally decided on a "Screen Goo" painted screen, and it is great. I highly recommend this solution to someone in a similar layout to mine.
Speakers are a knockoff of the Bang & Olofsson range. They sound fantastic and look great as well. The cabling for all the speakers is incorporated into the walls and floor, so all you see is a wall plate with two banana plugs. Keeps things very tidy. I also didn't want a "big black box" subwoofer and found this wall mountable model from Jamo. Excellent!
Lighting is handled by some drop ceilings around the room. During theatre use I can switch on some light emitting strips hidden above the drop ceiling which give a subtle golden glow that doesn't detract from the viewing experience. Downlights handle the normal duties when the theatre is not in use.
In the study room adjacent to the living room I built another cabinet especially for DVD's. It is dimensioned to the correct size of a DVD box and can hold 1100 DVD's with the minimum of space used. As I currently have around 800, it will soon be full.
Projector Toshiba D1 US$2250
Screen Screen Goo Digital Grey lite 215
Ceiling mount 95
Speakers Audio Wings 500
Subwoofer Jamo 250
Receiver Yamaha RX -V1300 800
DVD Player Yamaha 200
DVR Philips 400